The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of erlotinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), as second- or third-line treatment for elderly Japanese patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The patients eligible for this phase II trial were aged ≥70 years, had stage III/IV or recurrent NSCLC, and had previously received 1 or 2 chemotherapy regimens that did not include EGFR-TKIs. The patients received erlotinib at a dose of 150 mg/day. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR), and the secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and toxicity. A total of 38 patients with a median age of 76 years were enrolled. The majority of the patients were men (66%), had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 (58%), stage IV disease (66%) and adenocarcinoma (74%). Of the 35 patients, 13 (34%) had tumors with EGFR mutations. The ORR was 26.3% (95% confidence interval: 12.1-40.5%) and the disease control rate was 47.4%. The median PFS was 3.7 months and the median OS was 17.3 months. The grade 3 adverse events observed included rash (13%), diarrhea (5%), interstitial pneumonitis (5%), anorexia (3%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (3%). Grade 4 or 5 adverse events were not observed. The median OS did not differ significantly between patients aged <75 years (14.9 months) and those aged ≥75 years (19.0 months; P=0.226). Therefore, erlotinib was found to be effective and well-tolerated in elderly patients with previously treated NSCLC.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor
- Non-small-cell lung cancer
- Phase II trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research